The political donors list came out yesterday and it makes for a great read. Indeed, there are surprises in each of the main three parties but one of Labour's donors has struck me as particularly worthy of note.
The world's fifth richest person, Lakshmi Mittal has donated a whopping £1m to the Labour coffers (if we're to believe Prescott, this was much needed). However, Mittal has previously been embroiled with the Labour Party in what has now been referred to as "garbage-gate". After donating £125,000 to the Labour Party in 2002, Tony Blair signed a letter of support for Mittal's company ArcelorMittal to gain a foreign contract. While Blair denied any wrongdoing, this allegation has never been fully cleared up.
So why do I bring this up eight years later? Well, Mittal's steel company won the bid to create the Olympic architecture, under Labour. They are now making the "Olympic Orbit", a giant steel monument to commemorate the Olympic games, costing £19.1m. The steel structure will stand as lasting publicitiy for the company.
The London Olympics bid was based around an environmentally-friendly and fully sustainable vision. Yet The Guardian lists Mittal's company as creating "around 220m tonnes of carbon [a year] — equivalent to the whole output of the Czech Republic or just under half of the UK's total emissions in 2009". The far from eco-friendly company has also tried to sue the European Union Emission Trading Scheme because they were charged damages for their greenhouse gas emissions.
PS. Other donations of interest:
Dragon Duncan Bannatyne's business, Bannatyne Fitness, Ltd donated £50,000 to Labour.
The Curry King of Britain, Sir Gulam Noon donated £205,000 to Labour.
Lord Sainsbury, who's donated £16m to Labour over the years, gave another £350,000.
The Tories received £10,000 from Dodson and Horrell, Europe's leading horse feed manufacturer. Hunting ban anyone?
The Tetra Pack millionaire, Hans Rousing (who rates 11th in The Sunday Times Rich List) donated £49,000 to the Conservatives. Not one to be out done, his wife Marit also donated £49,000.
And, the Lib Dems' own MPs propped up their party with Vince Cable, Mike Hancock, Lynne Featherstone and Annette Brooke (to name a few) all throwing in a few thousand.
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